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New Zealand Air's New Hobbit Movie Plane Unveiled [PHOTO]

Travelers Today       By    Lena Vazifdar

Updated: Nov 27, 2012 03:59 PM EST

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Air New Zealand has transformed one of its planes into a "Hobbit Plane." NBC News reported that one of their Boeing 777-300ER planes has become a literal flying billboard for the movie, "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey."

The movie is an adaptation to the book by J.R.R. Tolkien and a prequel to the popular Lord of The Rings series. It is also directed by Peter Jackson.

NBC News reported that Air New Zealand worked with Peter Jackson's Weta workshop for the plane decal. The plane was unveiled on Saturday in Auckland and then went to Los Angeles. The plane will predominantly fly to London and Los Angeles.

"The character images extend the full length of the 219-foot aircraft, the longest plane in Air New Zealand's fleet, and took six days and 400 man hours to install, the largest-ever graphic on an airplane," reported Travel Weekly.

Jodi Williams, head of international marketing for Air New Zealand said to NBC News,  "It's very challenging for Air New Zealand to get that brand presence and that awareness because we don't have a significant marketing budget, so by actually working in partnership with a movie that's shot in New Zealand and shows New Zealand, it makes perfect sense."

Tourism for New Zealand hopes that the plane will increase visitors to AirNew Zealand. CEO Rob Fyfe said to Travel Weekly, "The Hobbit movies will be hugely important to New Zealand's tourism industry in the next couple of years as tourists are inspired to come and see and experience the landscapes which have shaped the movies."

The airline has also promoted "The Hobbit" in other ways. It has had a flight safety video which features different creatures from the movie and since it's release on Halloween, has had more than 9 million views on YouTube, reports NBC News.

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